Bring the Springboks back, says EP Rugby official Thando Manana

EPRU general manager Thando Manana and the federations president Andre Rademan addressing northern area community leaders Chief Khoi Mo and former ANC MPL Christian Martin
EPRU general manager Thando Manana and the federations president Andre Rademan addressing northern area community leaders Chief Khoi Mo and former ANC MPL Christian Martin
Image: Zizonke May

The Springboks should return to Nelson Mandela Bay on an apology tour.

That was the call from EP Rugby general manager Thando Manana.

Manana was speaking at a meeting held at the EPRU offices on Monday, addressing concerned members of Port Elizabeth’s northern areas who had used a padlock to lock officials out of their offices, as they demanded to know why the #SpringboksTour had bypassed the northern areas.

After Manana and federation president Andre Rademan arrived at the offices, former ANC MPL Christian Martin unlocked the gate so they could have a meeting.

Earlier on Monday, Martin said had he bought the padlock and personally locked the gate in protest over the Bok’s no show in the northern areas.

Sharing the same frustration as the larger Port Elizabeth community, Manana said there should be a re-run of the #SpringbokTour.

“Most of my rugby clubs are from the northern areas and the Uitenhage area.

“There should be a re-run, even if it is with a third of the Springbok team, to do an apology tour.

“Many hearts have been broken,” Manana said.

Manana said this time the Boks should also give out autographs.

“We cannot sit and point fingers, we need to find solutions and give them suggestions.

“They [the organising committee] need to pay for the many young dreams that were deferred yesterday,” he said.

Rademan emphasised that the rugby union would not take any blame for the Springboks' no-show in KwaNobuhle, Rosedale, the northern areas and on William Moffett, saying the federation was not part of the team that organised the parade.

Rademan said after the #SpringbokTour schedule was released, he had received calls from various people raising their concerns that the northern areas was not on the schedule.

“I discussed this with my GM, who then attended a meeting with the department of sports and recreation, and there we asked that the northern areas be included.

“We also requested that certain parts of Uitenhage — Kamesh and those places — also be included.

“We asked this as the union, although we were not included in the arrangements.

“The DSRAC and the metro’s Charmaine Williams were the parties involved in that,” Rademan said, adding that Manana was only part of two meetings that were held on invite.

Although all role players did a good job, the route could have been planned better, Rademan said.

“As the custodian rugby union in the Eastern Cape, we need to be treated likewise.

“We should be directly involved in all rugby matters and not sidelined, we were not involved and therefore we will not accept responsibility for the route cuts,” Rademan said.

Rademan said people should direct their frustrations to the municipality and lock down their offices.

“SARU got the players here, they organised the buses, their duties were done and it was up to the metro to plan the routes.”

However, Rademan said he wanted to apologise to their supporters for the unfortunate experience.

He said a lesson that could be learnt from this was that EPRU should be directly involved in rugby matters and not just allowed to attend two meetings.

Rademan said the rugby union had sent out three requests to SARU, one of which was to have a re-run of the tour — to which SARU responded immediately — saying it was not possible.

The other suggestion was to bring the Boks to the stadium or to have a tour of the areas that the tour missed when the Bok’s played their next Test match in the city.

This is a developing story.

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